While noting that Hillary Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” in using a series of personal e-mail servers during her time as Secretary of State, the FBI recommended the Department of Justice bring no formal charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee, FBI Director James Comey said today in a press conference.
During its investigation, the FBI wasn’t able to build a case that would support bringing charges against Clinton. Similar cases that were prosecuted, Comey said, involved some combination of intentional mishandling of classified information, indications of disloyalty to the United States, or efforts to obstruct justice.
“We do not see those things here,” Comey said, referring to Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail system to exchange sensitive information.
Ultimately, the lack of evidence that Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws was at the core of the FBI’s recommendation not to prosecute the case. However, the head of FBI noted: “This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey added.
From a group of 30,000 e-mails examined by the FBI, the State Department and the U.S. agencies that “owned” the information, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received, Comey said. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent. An additional 36 chains contained information considered Secret at the time, and another eight included information deemed Confidential.
Unsurprisingly, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took to Twitter to respond to Comey’s statements.
Trump noted that General David Petraeus –the former CIA director who pleaded guilty last year to mishandling classified information — “got in trouble for far less.”